Listen to Zunar–Malaysia’s Gutsy Cartoonist and Freedom Expressionist

July 15, 2016

Listen to Zunar–Malaysia’s Gutsy Cartoonist and Freedom Expressionist


“I don’t know if I will win or lose, but if I don’t fight, I’ll definitely lose.”

These are the words of Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, a cartoonist who goes by the name Zunar and who is facing charges under Malaysia’s Sedition Act and a possible 43 years in jail for speaking out against his government.

He is one of the most persecuted artists in the world.In February 2015 he was arrested for a Twitter post criticising the court’s ruling that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was guilty of sodomy.  In June 2010 five of his books were banned, with the Barisan Nasional  government claiming that the cartoons in it could “influence the people to revolt against the leaders and government policies and are detrimental to public order.”

Printers and suppliers of his work have been harassed, with his office raided several times. Zunar is also one of the few Malaysian cartoonists to target public figures, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, and address issues like corruption and abuse of power. But is he a serious threat to national security or even the stability of the Malaysian government?

In this interview for New Mandala Zunar chats to Dr Ross Tapsell about freedom of expression in Malaysia, his work and pending sedition charges.

Watch the interview in the player below.

2 thoughts on “Listen to Zunar–Malaysia’s Gutsy Cartoonist and Freedom Expressionist

  1. Let Malaysians follow Zunar. Just cross the line of fear and only then change happen. In timidity lies the seeds of our own destruction.

    Our politicians are destroying everything in their wake including our education system. That is why HRH Sultan of Johor wants to revert to English as a medium of instruction in our schools.

    Today a Malaysian Chinese father who is a manager in a garment factory in Phnom Penh came to see me because he wanted his 14 year old son to learn English. Why? Because his son cannot learn English in Malaysia. I brought him to our Center of English Studies at The University of Cambodia. There is no future in Malaysia for his son, the man said. How sad to learn this.

    UMNO politicians want to prevent Malaysians from speaking and writing good English. But they send their kids at great expense to the best boarding schools in the UK. Hell awaits those Malay language supremacists and UMNO. Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa tetapi Bahasa rosak Jiwa Rakyat. –Din Merican

  2. What Zunar depicts are facts not just the truth or POV. A govt that insist facts must be suppressed is dysfunctional, has crossed the line to disservice to the people and cannot last.

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